Glass Tile / January 9, 2019 / Genevieve Brunelle
The most important step in putting glass tile in a swimming pool is choosing the right installation materials. To reiterate the high rate of expansion and contraction of glass caused by temperature changes is the leading cause of cracks and damage to installed tiles. In order to compensate for this special thin-set adhesives and additives have been developed that expand and contract with the glass. The leading manufacturer of glass-specific tile adhesive systems is MAPEI and their Adesilex P10 thin-set and Keraply additive can be combined into an installation system that is specifically designed for applications where the glass tiles are completely submerged.
For the past five years I have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the use of glass tile mosaics in residential and commercial applications. As with many other high end popular products cheaper knock-offs have quickly flooded the market. Unsuspecting consumers purchase these attractive-looking cheap tiles only to become frustrated months later when they learn the investment in their home is not only worthless but also costly. When a glass tile installation or product fails homeowners are left with expensive tear-outs and repairs. To the end user and many untrained contractors the quality differences may seem subtle but these distinctions have a major impact on the final appearance and durability of the project.
Often glass tiles are translucent in appearance and any imperfection in either the setting application or the thinset is magnified. Whichever tile is being installed the substrate must be perfectly smooth using the manufacturers suggested setting materials and following their instructions exactly as written. Any "waves or grooves" in setting material are noticeable which is another reason a consumer needs to hire a contractor trained in glass tile installation. Another major quality difference between glass tiles is in the quality of the glass used during production. Oceanside Glass is famous for using recycled bottles in its production and provides consumers with a guide of how much post-consumer recycled material are used in their production and can assist with LEED accreditation. Additionally their state-of-the-art equipment for precision processing in batching changing furnaces and cooling molten glass is revolutionary.